County attorney race set: Orput vs. ShoebergCandidates offer different professional backgrounds
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
The two-way battle for Washington County attorney is under way.
Peter Orput and Kevin Shoeberg advanced in last Tuesday’s primary election, and will square off on the Nov. 2 ballot.
“I view it as a new election,” Shoeberg said after coming in second in the primary.
Orput and Shoeberg are both Stillwater residents, but they bring different professional backgrounds to the general election contest.
Orput works as an assistant Hennepin County attorney specializing in robbery cases. He is familiar with the Washington County Attorney’s Office, having worked there as an assistant attorney in the 1990s.
Shoeberg owns a private law firm in Woodbury. He has handled both civil and criminal cases. Shoeberg also has served as attorney and prosecutor for a number of Washington County cities and townships. He is the attorney for the city of Landfall.
Shoeberg said he hopes voters chose him in the general election because of his experience working in Washington County for more than 20 years.
Orput said voters like his background as a prosecutor. He has worked in four county attorney offices and in other agencies.
“I think it says that experience does matter,” Orput said, adding that he is backed by police officers, including in Woodbury and Cottage Grove. “People want public safety and they want somebody with experience.”
Orput handily won the three-way primary, getting nearly half of all votes cast.
He had 47.5 percent of the vote to Shoeberg’s 29.2 percent, according to unofficial results from the secretary of state’s office.
The third candidate, Clayton Robinson, a Woodbury resident who is assistant director of prosecutions in the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, garnered 23.2 percent of the vote and was bounced from the race.
The unofficial vote totals were: Orput, 9,498; Shoeberg, 5,840; and Robinson, 4,642.
Orput and Shoeberg are running to succeed Washington County Attorney Doug Johnson. Johnson is retiring after serving three four-year terms.